Nominees for 3rd annual PSX Extreme Awards
Note: Due to the minimal AAA titles that the PSOne was treated to, awards will be handed out only to PS2 games. That goes without saying that a list of 5 must-have PSX games (of 2001) will be included at the end of the actual awards. Without a further adieu, we present our nominees, split into two pages; starting with the Action genre.
It was certainly a hellishly fun affair in the action genre this year on the PS2, and that's said almost literally. Capcom's Devil May Cry stormed onto the shelves and tore a bunch of new ones to nearly every other action title out there, but at the same time we saw unbelievable stuff like Metal Gear Solid 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, Ace Combat 4, Onimusha: Warlords, Twisted Metal: Black, and Star Wars: Starfighter. These are easily some of the best action titles on the market, be it aerial or surface. But only four have made the cut, with the highest and first award being "Extreme" and "honorable mention" being last. And the nominees are...
Devil May Cry - Capcom - Capcom's surprising title caught everybody off guard, people were expecting something great, but DMC went above and beyond expectations. The game snagged an overall rating of 10.0 from Snake.
Grand Theft Auto 3 - Rockstar - Easily the most controversial videogame ever, Rockstar's/DMA's GTA3 breaks the censorship barrier to push the envelope as far as possible. The action in this game was about as close to reality as it can possibly get, so it's no wonder the game was nominated.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - Konami - While it may not be as fast and edgy as Devil May Cry, Konami's MGS2 is by far one of the greatest action games yet. This title also earned a perfect overall score of 10.0.
Twisted Metal: Black - Sony - The return of Twisted Metal was indeed an incredible one. Incog. Inc, was able to pick up from where they left off, by creating an all new story for the PS2 version. The action was as sadistic as it could possibly get, and the four-player was utter mayhem and pure hell! Any questions?
It was an incredible year for PS2 gamers who are also fans of the adventure genre! We were treated to some of the most breathtaking titles since Super Mario 64, namely: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. In addition, incredible titles such Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Rayman 2: Revolution, and of course ICO! Each and every one of these games displayed an adventure that made it a memorable feat. The four nominees for Adventure Game of the Year are...
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance- Interplay - Not only is this one of the cleanest looking videogames on the market (perfect anti-aliasing, no flickering, fantastic textures, and excellent lighting) Interplay's, Snow Blind's and Black Isle's Baldur's Gate is also one of the best adventure titles the PS2 has to offer. The Dungeons and Dragons world comes alive on the PS2 in full force.
ICO - Sony - There's absolutely no question about it, as to whether or not ICO gets a nomination, because it's a simple three letter answer starting with the letter "Y" "E" "S". Sony's ICO came away with a near perfect overall score of 9.9.
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - Sony - Naughty Dog's secretive adventure game on the PS2 turned out to be one of the greatest the genre has to offer. Jak and Daxter is quite possibly the best adventure game since Super Mario 64, and that's saying a lot! It received a notable score of 9.6.
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil - Namco - Klonoa's return on the PS2 makes it one of the best in the adventure and platform genre. The classic 2D side-scrolling makes this an exceptional adventure game all around. It's bright, and most importantly fun! Great job Namco.
Well, there really is no contest as far as the extreme sports genre is concerned, but nevertheless some pretty good software was put out for the genre. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, which also received a perfect overall score, is not only one of the best games available on the market, but easily the best extreme sports title. But that is not to disqualify ATV: Offroad Fury, EA's SSX Tricky, Acclaim's Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, Midway's NHL Hitz 2002, and EA's NBA Street. All were excellent games and earned their deserved critical acclaim and fortune. The extreme sports nominees follow...
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 - Acclaim - I was in complete awe after I played Dave Mirra 2 for the first time. I thought it was a silky smooth BMX title with incredible level designs. The game, while very challenging, retains a magnitude of fun and overall excellence.
ATV Offroad Fury -Sony - The ATV game to precede Offroad Fury really sucked. So there was some heavy skepticism as to how well a PS2 ATV title will do. Luckily, acclaimed developer Rainbow Studios came through with a fantastic ATV game! This game let you race on a pre-set course, or explore incredibly vast lands. On top of that, Offroad Fury had an awesome four-player mode! This one definitely gets a nod.
SSX Tricky - EA Sports Big - The follow up to the PS2 2001 Game of the Year, SSX makes its way back to the console that made it what it is today. EA Big's nomination in the category is one that comes with a dosage of "duh". SSX Tricky not just an upgrade over the original, but a full fledged sequel with so much more!
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 - Activision - It's obvious that everybody reading this already knows the outcome of the Extreme award for this genre, so in a way it's a battle for ol' Silver. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 is the very first online title on the PS2, and is currently the only one. With incredible visuals, and the most addictive gameplay, can anybody question Tony Hawk's success?
It's inevitable, that at the moment the fighting genre is at a stand still. But PS2 owners still managed to get a decent dosage of fisticuffs on their PS2's. Capcom was kind enough to port and release Capcom vs. SNK 2. SquareSoft dropped a great fighting game with a story (while short, had multiple pathways and dozens of secrets altogether), The Bouncer. Sammy and Arc Systems brought down the house with their fantastic 2D fighter, Guilty Gear X. Lastly, Activision unleashed some hell with Bloody Roar 3, as it was quite a fierce and enjoyable game altogether. Those were the only fighters to be released on the PS2 this year, thankfully, all of them were very good.
Capcom vs. SNK 2 - Capcom -
Bloody Roar 3 - Activision -
Guilty Gear X - Sammy Entertainment -
The Bouncer - SquareSoft -
First Person Shooter:
A pretty damn good year for fans of this genre. Some grade-A titles made it out on the PS2. THQ brought out its technologically boastful first person shooter, Red Faction. Sierra decided to port their most prized videogame, Half-Life, by overhauling its visuals and adding various extras not found in the original. While it's a light-gun shooter, Namco's Time Crisis 2 is still an FPS in our book, and there's no doubt about it that it was an awesome game. Despite being somewhat lackluster, Electronic Arts' James Bond 007 in... Agent Under Fire is still a pretty good FPS title that's a lot of fun both single-player and four. Those are all of the nominees for the FPS genre, as there was really only 4 FPS titles, luckily --like the fighting genre-- they were all good.
Half Life - Sierra -
James Bond 007 in... Agent Under Fire - EA -
Red Faction - THQ -
Time Crisis 2 - Namco -
In this genre, some awesome flight and shooters were released. It was once again limited, but the effort was truly exceptional. The nominees for this genre are...
Ace Combat 4 - Namco - Namco's Ace Combat 4 would obviously end up on this list, as its flight simulation and heavy action makes it one tough game to compete with.
Twisted Metal: Black - Sony - While it's already been classified as an action game, Twisted Metal: Black's shooting qualities, with all of its missiles and rapid fire machine gun, TM:B qualifies as a shooter in our book. Therefore it earns the nomination.
Spy Hunter - Midway - Being brought back for the first time since the mid 80s, William's classic Spy Hunter returns in full force on the PS2. We qualified this title as a PS2 title, much for the same reasons as Twisted Metal: Black. It was a quick and edgy game, with good shooting traits.
Star Wars: Starfighter - LucasArts - Early on in the year, LucasArts released Star Wars: Starfighter. It was an incredible game, and the first true Star Wars title of the next-generation. It's an excellent flight title that rivals Rouge Leader.
It's yet another one of those "duh" categories. As we saw with the extreme sports genre, the racing genre is pretty damn painfully obvious. But nevertheless, there were racing games other than Gran Turismo 3, like ATV: Offroad Fury, Extreme G3, Splashdown, and Tokyo Xtreme Racing: Zero. And the nominees are...
ATV Offroad Fury - Sony - The ATV game to precede Offroad Fury really sucked. So there was some heavy skepticism as to how well a PS2 ATV title will do. Luckily, acclaimed developer Rainbow Studios came through with a fantastic ATV game! This game let you race on a pre-set course, or explore incredibly vast lands. On top of that, Offroad Fury had an awesome four-player mode! This one definitely gets a nod.
Extreme G3 - Acclaim - Fast, furious, fierce and FUN! Extreme G3 sets its debut on the Playstation 2 with relentless break neck speeds of up to 1000MPH and a blazing fast frame rate. Extreme G3 is every bit as addictive as it is pretty looking.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec - Sony - Honestly, why must it even be explained as to why it was nominated? It's been said over and over again, this is the greatest racing game ever. Period.
Splashdown - Infogrames - Making Wave Race look like child's play, Splashdown is yet another game developed by Rainbow Studios. The racing is unbelievably intense and most importantly fun. The waves, despite not being gigantic, effect the flow of your Jet-Ski, as the water physics are quite precise. Visually, Splashdown is also the best looking watercraft racer, as it features the most gorgeous looking water.
Next page for RPG ---> Game of the Year...
12/22/2001 PSX Extreme Editorial Staff